Today we kicked off our three week adventure in Bali as teens streamed through the Denpasar airport towards the excited sign-waving GLA Bali staff.
July 18, 2017
Today we had our first global citizen workshop after a great breakfast of French toast and fruit. We talked about what it means to be a global citizen and the characteristics/values that go with it. After lunch we went to the local Banjar and rotated between four stations where we learned unique skills. We learned Legong dance which is a native Balinese dance, how to create offerings from leaves and sticks, wood carving, and gamelan which is a xylophone-like instrument. After our workshop we walked to the palace for a tour and dinner with the prince of Peliatan. After dinner there was a performance consisting of dancing and playing music, including the gamelan. Overall, today was really fun and I’m having a great time immersing myself in Bali.
July 19, 2017
We started our day early, waking up at 6:30 for a morning market visit. We tried exotic fruits and learned to haggle, over our harem pants and sarongs, with the locals. Afterwards, we got back in our taxis for a visit to the Balinese rice paddies. Traditional breakfast cones filled with rice, noodles, and chicken were enjoyed by all as we overlooked the picturesque farms and learned about the degradation of the farming culture within Bali. Next, we all donned our sarongs and sashes for a temple visit. Our offerings from yesterday came in handy whilst learning the prayer practices followed by the Balinese and we followed the ceremony including priests delivering us with holy water, flowers being spread on our hair, incense burning, and even rice being placed on our foreheads-the most important part of the body for the locals. We enjoyed a meal with a view as our lunch destination overlooked an active volcano. After heading back to our home base, we took time to relax and some students even visited a local market for snacks. Finally, we discussed in our mentor groups our goals and initiatives for choosing this trip and reflected upon all we are looking forward to.
July 20th, 2017
Today we left our first home base in Ubud for where our service will be done, Singaraga! We traveled for about two hours making two stops; temple, and lunch! The temple had such beautiful views and luckily we went at a time where there weren’t many tourists. There were shops, animals, and buildings (pictures were great). Our next destination was 30 seconds down the road where we enjoyed another buffet! After completing these two stops it was time to make our way to the Edutel (education hotel) where we have our dorms. The ride was about an hour where we witnessed just few of Bali’s many views. The winding roads, beautiful culture, and city life all make the bus rides a highlight of the trip. Upon arrival, we settled in and prepped for our first day of service. Night time is where the fun began, as we set off on sunset boat ride and swam in the coral reefs. The sun was neon pink and honestly breath taking. Following the sunset, we ate a delicious meal prepared by Ryan’s friends. To end the night, we had a bonfire with some locals and sang traditional balinese songs. Yet another tiring day for us, but an amazing one!
-Audrey, Lexi, & Anna
July 21st, 2017
Today we woke up and explored the beautiful scenery of Singaraja. Taking in the ocean views and the smiling faces of the locals was an amazing way to start the day. After we finished our walk around the town, we broke up into small groups and began to plan our lessons for our first day of service. We worked together to formulate interactive games and activities to teach children about colors and numbers. Seeing our lessons come to life gave us all a sense of fulfillment and joy. The best part was seeing their faces light up as they managed to navigate the complicated subtleties of the english language.
What we didn’t expect from only one day of teaching is that the students ended up teaching us more than we taught them. They gave us an opportunity to look into their lives and discover more about the intricate Balinese culture. One example of their culture we learned today was how they give respect to their elders and teachers. Instead of simply saying goodbye to us, they one by one came up to each of us and took our hand and put it to their foreheads as a sign of gratitude and respect. Nonetheless, we could say that our first day of service was a success. Whether we were playing games outside, doing art projects, or providing a classic schooling atmosphere, we all worked together to make the most of this exciting day.
Grace Mitzen, Madeline Johnson, & Olivia Karl
July 22nd, 2017
Today we started out with a few leadership activities including sorting ourselves into personality corners, called the Leadership Compass. The compass led us to a corner that best fit our responses to leadership styles and helped us figure out what type of leader we are individually. We did this so that we could figure out how best to work together to better our community. Then, we worked in teams to try to use everyone’s qualities to benefit each other. We did this through an activity where we tried to create a structure of straws that could hold a rubber chicken while incorporating different qualities that made participating hard, such as being told we couldn’t speak or being blindfolded! We also made leadership goal pyramids and shared them so that we could best understand how to help each other accomplish what we want to do.
After this we started preparing for our second day of service at the local schools. We planned lessons for the kids involving animals and adjectives. We taught them with games, art, and classroom activities. Some games involved in the teaching were sharks and minnows and monkey in the middle. Some art projects were making animal masks and having the kids draw zoos. The classroom activities included a word search and bingo. The kids seem to really be enjoying themselves and learning during our lessons. After we got home from service we had a laid back night of mentors groups and an exciting evening activity of musical chairs!
Julia Dostal, Julia Erixon, & Zahra Patel
Today we went to Pemuteran and had a blast on the resort beach. First we learned about the coral restoration project, a project that aims to restore the reef, which has been damaged from coral bleaching and global warming. They restore the reef by putting electrically powered structures on the ocean floor that encourage limestone growth that the coral attaches to. We snorkeled for an hour and saw beautiful fish and the coral structures that we had just learned about. After hard work and planning for service, it was relaxing to take a day off and enjoy the ocean. Another awesome part of the day was getting to eat a taste of home with pizza, fries, pasta, burgers, cake, and mocktails. For our evening activity we had a lip sync battle between all of the groups, and the mentors stole the show with the song “What does the fox say?”.
Om swastiastu from Bali! – Jillian, Analise, and Xandra
July 24, 2017
July 26, 2017
Today was a busy day from the moment we woke up. After eating breakfast, we got into our volunteer groups and began our volunteer prep for the next two lessons. Today’s topic was time and place. This included months of the year and days of the week. Also common places such as a hospital, house, and school. At one of the schools, a group of us taught games. Some of our games included singing a song, and posting names of places around the courtyard. We would name the place in Indonesian, and the kids would have to run to the English equivalent. Once we were done prepping the lessons for the day, we started on tomorrow’s plans which included nature. Then at 1:45, we started heading to the schools. It was definitely one of the more challenging days. As the kids get to know us more, they are becoming more rowdy. However, most of the children were able to acquire the knowledge successfully, and they eventually calmed down. At one school, the children were really sweet and gave out cute notes to all of us. The notes had their names next to ours with hearts all around it. At the end of the school day, it was time to leave. We headed back to the home base for dinner; it was nugget night. After dinner we met in our mentor groups for discussion. For an evening activity, we played are you smarter than a fifth grader. Today marks the halfway point in our time here. As our last day of volunteering nears, we all share the same thoughts; we will miss these children dearly. Anyway, tomorrow morning before volunteering, we are going to a boarding school to meet some Indonesian students around our own age.
(P.S. Hi Rudd family! I miss you guys.)
Madison, Grace T. and Jenna
July 25, 2017
We started the day with a few hours of sunshine in Lovina beach where most of us got to satisfy our shopping cravings. The beach is lined with goods ranging from sarongs to hand made wood carvings. We came back to the home base for lunch and prepared for our next school lesson. the topics were foods and emotions. After an afternoon of worksheets, we went straight to Narayan Seva Children’s Home, a orphanage that provides a loving home, holistic education and practical skill for total well being of the children in need. We all got to participate in their meditation ceremony and indulge in their delicious vegetarian meal. A few of the kids performed their amazing yoga tricks, where balance and flexibility was mastered.
– Bee, Lizz, Jianhong
July 27th, 2017
Today marks the twelfth day we have been here in Bali. Today, we visited the Bali Mandara School, a boarding school dedicated to educating intelligent students with leadership potential from financially challenged families. Small groups of students were partnered up with Balinese students our age. We had the opportunity to tour the campus, allowing us to get a taste of their average day. We watched them make traditional lak-lak cakes that we got to try, then we made kites from bamboo and tissue paper and went to the field to let them rip. After sharing a delicious lunch with the students, we said our goodbyes and headed to our second-to-last day of service. After dinner, we split up into four teams: red (Germany), blue (Greece), black (New Zealand), and white(Argentina). Everyone had lots of fun competing in a tournament, ending the night with a bang.
Tony Carver, Arielle Hutchinson, Taylor Stamps
July 28th, 2017
(feat. Rebecca Black)
“8 am waking up in the morning, gotta get dressed gotta go downstairs. Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal.” Waking up this morning thinking that everything was going to be just like a regular day, we were disturbed by the horrid waves of humidity as it clung to our skin like sand to a wet towel. This was just a start to our long last emotional day in Singaraja. By 9 am we were in full work mode, developing our final lesson plans for our enthusiastic students. After spending so much time being absorbed into the world of vocabulary, worksheets and markers; lunch was right around the corner. We ate until our tummies were full and our eyes were heavy. It was nap time.
“1.5 hours later,” we hustled through the heat to our cars pumping cold air on high. After crazy driving, honking horns and motorbikes we’d finally arrived at SD2 in one piece greeted by a mass of screaming 6-12 year olds. The next three hours flew by, leaving us in a daze of sadness and exhaustion our final fleeting moments with the kids were fading faster than we thought. After tears were shed and hugs exchanged we were back in the cars by 5 rollin out to Lovina for our last supper after service. With a little taste of America, we were burgered and french fried out as we said our goodbyes to Singaraja around the bonfire closing this chapter of our Bali Book tuning out with Leaving on a Jet Plane.
Nat Yoder, Quin Buisch, Eliott Plumley
July 29, 2017
This morning we packed all our bags in Singaraja and headed to East Bali Immersion. When we arrived, we found teepees waiting for us with ice cold drinks. There were many hammocks for us to relax in since it was the hottest it’s been in Bali so far. The group was treated with excellent food, including an amazing salad dressing (balsamic vinegar, honey, chopped garlic, onions, mint, olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper). After cooling off a bit, we wanted to learn more about East Bali Cashew Company. We hung out with the preschool kids and had a dance party. Then we went through the factory and learned how each cashew is processed. To finish our tour we bought lots of snacks in the gift shop. At the end of the night, we had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows. The stars were gorgeous with the meteor showers and many of us fell asleep under the stars. Just another wonderful day in paradise.
Mollie Rutz & Nikki Bailowitz
Rise and Shine! Today the students and GLA Bali staff woke up bright and early for a sunrise hike up Puncak Mangu hills, which is close to Mount Agung – the highest volcano mountain in Bali. Waking up at 4:30 a.m and hiking 5 miles all seemed worth it after a view of a fascinating volcano on one side and a mesmerizing sunset on the other. After eating delicious pancakes and fruit for breakfast, we experienced the hard labor local workers at the cashew factory do everyday. We peeled and shelled cashews for 2 hours and learned about the great impacts of the cashew factory on the economy, education, and culture immersion. To end the day, we had a scenic drive to Amed and settled into our amazing beach bungalows for a great dinner and swim in the water.
Hello friends and family,
A lot has occurred since our last blog. After our overnight visit to an eco-camp learning about Cashews and Balinese economics, we traveled East to the town of Amed, a beautiful beachfront town. There we enjoyed clear blue water and banana smoothies. Our home base consisted of beach bungalows and waterfront views. For our adventure in Amed we all tried our hands at scuba diving. Some of us were filled with excitement; While others were slightly nervous. Nevertheless, we all prevailed and successfully completed a pool training session and two dives. We were able to see sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays to name a few underwater gems. On our off time we enjoyed laying on the beach and snacking on chicken nuggets and fries. After completing our final dive, we hopped into vans and made our way back to Ubud to enjoy our last days in this beautiful place.
Madison and Jen
August 2, 2017
Our story starts with a rainy day and an early breakfast at 6:30 am. Everyone bursting with excitement, ready to go to the elephant sanctuary to be one with these magnificent mammals. Little did we know that this was not a sanctuary but what seemed to be a prison for the elephants and an entertainment center for the human eyes. You could tell by the look in our eyes, our hearts were saddened with sorrow. For these magnificent creatures should be out running wild and free but instead are rode and chained for nothing but entertainment. Coming from this experience we learned that we as a whole do not support the fact that this was a place called a “sanctuary” when after the fact this was a place using these animals for income. Support for proper animal care in Bali and around the world touched our hearts and made us learn to see to believe. What seemed to be one of the best parts of the trip just became one of the many hardest memories of our adventure.
After our time at the “Sanctuary” we the travelers were relieved to hear that the GLA Bali trip will not be incorporating the elephants in the future years of Bali adventures because of the wrong doing that is coming to these animals. By 12 we spent the rest of the afternoon (after another amazing lunch from Mama) at the market and temple, trying to forget our sorrow filled morning by indulging our time and thoughts into spending what little money we had left for our loved ones back home.
Abbi H. and Nat Y.
August 3, 2017
Zoe and Arielle here! Your one and only source into the adventurous lives of GLA Bali.
At 8:00 a.m. sharp, GLA students and mentors piled into vans that brought them to Teraz Agro, a local coffee and tea distributor that specializes in Luwak Coffee. A luwak is a small animal that eats, digests, and ferments red coffee cherries. Subsequently, the luwak has a bowel movement, and the cherries are embedded in its feces. The intact beans are then collected and processed in traditional Balinese manner.
At the plantation, students sampled various teas and coffees, including the famous Luwak Coffee. Students then crowded the gift shop, buying baskets full of gifts to take home.
With bags full of coffee, students packed back into the vans, heading to White Water Rafting on Telaga Waja. Students and mentors were asked to form groups of four and five and were given life vests, helmets, and paddles. The groups were each assigned a guide who helped them into and steered their rafts.
As the rafts spiraled down the rocky river, high-pitched screams and songs could be heard.
“I had a blast. My instructor was super chill. We got pretty wet,” said GLA student Xandra Layne. “It was raining as we were paddling so it felt like an adventure.”
After the wild river ride, students had to lug themselves up hundreds of stone steps to reach their lunch location. The view from the building was breathtaking, and most students forgot the strenuous climb that had just occurred.
Post lunch, the vans returned the students to the home base, where they had mentor groups and evening activity. They ended the second to last day with a bang, enjoying a delicious dinner cooked by Mama.
Zoe and Arielle